Words such as “pandemic”, “social-distancing” and “state of emergency” are being used to bring value and seriousness to the current global situation, however they can also evoke feelings of anxiety.
During this time, it is important to not let our fear get the best of us by considering the following:
THOUGHTS- If your mind is used to worrying and ruminating in thoughts, give those thoughts some attention by journaling, talking to someone or self-reflecting. The key here is not to get stuck in the worried thoughts, but to acknowledge that they are there. Dismissing your thoughts and ignoring them will only cause them to fester and “tantrum” for more attention. Acknowledge the thought, give it attention, and release it.
INFORMATION- There is a lot of information out there regarding the virus; schedule time to watch the news, read articles and attend to notifications on our gadgets. When the news is constantly on or notifications are spontaneously grabbing our attention, it can rob us of the present moment, lead to information overload and emotional overwhelm.
STRATEGIES- The current situation is new to all of us, so thinking of ways to cope may not come easily. Some will benefit from structure, while others will not. Some of us may benefit from artistic activities and some us may benefit from increased family time. There is no “right” way to cope. My suggestion is that you take time to acknowledge the different pieces of you and create strategies to build a healthy capacity in these areas. This includes your physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and social pieces of your well-being.
THE COMMON GOOD- Social distancing is difficult because as humans, we thrive for connection. Staying home feeling cooped up with family members can push our buttons. However, we are all doing our part for the common good of humanity and for the global community. We are all contributing to the health care system and assisting health care professionals without being on the front line. It seems counterintuitive as we would normally come together in solidarity to fight a battle, however in this situation distance gives us strength and doesn’t allow the virus to get the best of us as a whole.
CONNECTION- Reach out and connect to others to prevent emotional isolation and feelings of loneliness. Check in, say hi, send a meme, phone or text message, set up group messages and e-connect with others. It’s important to stay connected even though we are physically distant.
GRATITUDE- Acknowledge the feel-good moments in your day even though the current situation is not ideal and at times inconvenient and annoying. Take a moment to soak in the longer days and sunshine, your good health, your relationships, technology, extra time, and the opportunity to be still in this busy world.
With that, I hope you and your families are taking care of yourselves and staying healthy.
We are all in this together!